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Chinese FM: SAARC Has Bright Future
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Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said in New Delhi Tuesday that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has a bright future with continued institutional development, accelerated process of cooperation and great opening.


Li made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the 14th SAARC summit.


"SAARC, as an important organization for regional cooperation, has played an active role in promoting social and economic development as well as peace and stability in South Asia," he said.


South Asia is an important part of Asia. The South Asian countries are committed to peace and development, the region is enjoying fast and sustained economic growth and good progress has been made in regional cooperation, Li pointed out. South Asia's international standing is rising, and it is full of vigor and vitality, he said.


During the two-day summit hosted by India in its capital, eight SAARC countries will discuss major peace and development issues including anti-terrorism, poverty alleviation and intra-regional free trade.


SAARC, comprising of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, was established in 1985.


It is the first time in the SAARC history for China, the EU, Japan, South Korea, and the US to attend the summit as observers.


(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2007)

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